After early tuition on the acoustic guitar Ian took up the trombone at the age of 11 under the tutelage of Dave Cole. Progressing rapidly through the grades he attained Grade 8 with distinction at the age of 16 and, following Dave Cole's departure to pastures new, achieved an A.R.C.M. Performers Diploma at the age of 18 under the watchful eye of his teacher Dave Heywood. During these years Ian was a member of the Shropshire Schools Orchestra setup progressing through the Concert Bands to become 1st Trombone in the Symphony Orchestra traveling with that Orchestra to U.S.S.R. in 1981 with the late Adrian Morris (formerly Bass Trombone with the Hallé Orchestra) in the section at that time. He also played for many local amateur operatic society productions and performed with local big bands in this period leading to a wide grounding of musical experience. Four years at Birmingham School of Music followed under Reg Reid with extra guidance provided by Ken Shifrin and Danny Longstaff (R.I.P.) then of the C.B.S.O.. During this College period Ian was a founder member of the Birmingham Trombone Choir an idea conceived by Ken Shifrin and subsequently taken up by many U.K. music colleges.